KPLU 88.5  – June 10, 2011

June is one of the most popular months of the year to get married. That means brides-to-be are preparing for their long-awaited – and probably highly expensive – wedding day. While there are no guarantees for a successful marriage, a new type of business can guarantee the special day goes as planned. 
Click here for audio of  interview.

That’s something Seattle bride Kim Ducharme could really use. She’s had a recurring nightmare about her wedding dress since she got engaged 16 months ago.

Here’s what happens:

 “I’d be getting married and my dress was missing. And then I’d have to get married in like, a weird dress.  Sometimes it’d be in like a bath towel. It’s funny what you freak out about,” she says, laughing at the absurdity of the dream.  

Ducharme is just two days away from her wedding day at the Woodlawn Park Zoo –which makes her “freak out” understandable.

And it turns out, her fear of something going wrong with her dress isn’t totally off base.

The Better Business Bureau is warning couples on their way to the altar about a number of scams plaguing the growing wedding industry. Last year alone, the bureau received about a thousand complaints against wedding related services.  Apparently, when you hire a small army of vendors like Ducharme has, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

What can go wrong?

In all, Ducharme has hired 10 different vendors to pull off her dream wedding.

The average cost of wedding is about 24 thousand dollars with multiple vendors involved in the process. So getting hitched without a glitch is becoming more complicated. That’s led to a new kind of wedding business — wedding insurance.

“How many things do you own, or how many things do you have in your household worth 24-thousand dollars, that you don’t actually have insurance on?” says Jason Koehn, a wedding insurance salesman at ProtectMyWedding. com.

Koehn says we insure everything else that’s valuable in our lives, so why not the most important day in a couple’s life?

“You would definitely have insurance on a vehicle or jewelry or other things that you own that you’re spending that much money on, so the same thing kind of applies to your wedding.”

What does wedding insurance cover?

For about 200 dollars, policies cover a range of prospective problems. Vendor no-shows who pocket deposits, damaged wedding attire and hurricanes  for those tropical destination weddings. So if you’re venue gets blown away, the insurer covers the cost of a new one.

There are only a handful of companies that offer wedding insurance but Koehn says they’ve seen a double digit increase in policies since they started offering them five years ago. And demand is on the rise.

Still, there’s one thing they don’t cover: cold feet.